WGC Match Play Winners and History

WGC Match Play Championship Winners and History

WGC Match Play Winners And History

In 2016, the WGC Match Play acquired a new sponsor in Dell, while continuing the “pool play” format that keeps all the players around until Friday. The 2016 tournament also had a new venue: The Austin Country Club.

The relatively new format groups the 64 player field into sixteen four player groups. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, each group will play round-robin matches. The player with the best record in each group continues to the “Sweet Sixteen” on Saturday for single elimination. The “Elite Eight” matches will be held Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning will feature the Final Four, and the Championship and consolation matches will be held Sunday Afternoon.

It’s a neat fix that guarantees three days with every player in the field. It also eliminates the freak win that sends a top seeded player home after the first day. That occurs far more often than fans — and television producers — would have liked.

The WGC Match Play Championship is the successor event of the Anderson Consulting World Championship of Golf, a 32 player, unofficial event played from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, the event became part of the World Golf Championship series, hosted by La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. It was held at that resort from 1999 to 2006, with a one year side trip to the Metropolitcan Golf Club in Victoria, Australia. That turned out to be unpopular, and it has not again left the United States. The WGC Match Play Championship was been held at the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Arizona in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, it moved to the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain, Arizona. It was at TPC Harding Park in 2015.

The prize of $9 million is official on the PGA Tour, the European Tour and the Japan Golf Tour. In addition to the $1.4 million winner’s share, the last man standing also takes the Walter Hagen Cup. The name is appropriate, as Hagen is widely considered to be the finest match player ever.

Prior to the unofficial Anderson event, the PGA Tour held the Seiko Tuscon Match Play Championship from 1984 to 1986. Jim Thorpe twice won that event. The PGA Championship was match play from its inception in 1916 to 1958. The US and British Amateur Championships also are match play events, although the US Amateur experimented with medal play from 1965 to 1972. Resistance to match play surely comes from the television networks, who cannot be thrilled at the possibility of having the marquee stars ousted on day one, with four more days to come. The solution — not yet used — would be to use a double elimination format.

Participants in the Anderson event were chosen from the top eight players available from four different regions, the United States, Europe, Japan, and the “Rest of the World”. The positions were determined by the Sony Rankings. Each region played three rounds of match play to determine the regional winner to send to the finals. The regional tournaments were played at various times (February to August) throughout the year at different courses in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

  • Most times won tournament – Tiger Woods (3 wins)
  • Largest Championship Match Victory (36 holes) – 8 & 7, Tiger Woods over Stewart Cink (2008)
  • Other lopsided match (18 holes) – 9 & 8, Tiger Woods over Stephen Ames (2006, 1st round)
  • Longest championship match – 38 holes, Jeff Maggert over Andrew Magee (1999)
  • Longest match (non-championship) – 26 holes, Scott Verplank over Lee Westwood (2006, 1st round), Mike Weir over Loren Roberts (2003, 1st round)

A list of WGC Match Play Winners follows. Also included are the winners of  the WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship, The WGC Accenture Match Play Championship and the Anderson Consulting Match Play Championship.

WGC Match Play Winners

YearChampionSeedRunner-upSeedScore
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
2018Bubba Watson35Kevin Kisner367 & 6
2017Dustin Johnson1Jon Rahm211 up
WGC-Dell Match Play
2016Jason Day (2)2Louis Oosthuizen165 & 4
WGC-Cadillac Match Play
2015Rory McIlroy1Gary Woodland504 & 2
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
2014Jason Day8Victor Dubuisson2723 holes
2013Matt Kuchar21Hunter Mahan232 & 1
2012Hunter Mahan21Rory McIlroy22 & 1
2011Luke Donald9Martin Kaymer23 & 2
2010Ian Poulter9Paul Casey64 & 2
2009Geoff Ogilvy (2)8Paul Casey234 & 3
2008Tiger Woods (3)1Stewart Cink228 & 7
2007Henrik Stenson9 Geoff Ogilvy112 & 1
2006Geoff Ogilvy52Davis Love III233 & 2
2005David Toms14Chris DiMarco166 & 5
2004Tiger Woods (2)1 Davis Love III33 & 2
2003Tiger Woods1David Toms62 & 1
2002Kevin Sutherland62Scott McCarron451 up
2001Steve Stricker55Pierre Fulke212 & 1
WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship
2000Darren Clarke19Tiger Woods14 & 3
1999Jeff Maggert24Andrew Magee5038 holes
A list of WGC Match Play Winners

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